Chiefs vs Chargers: Is Norv Turner's Job on the Line This Thursday?

Marcelo VillaCorrespondent IINovember 1, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 28: Head coach Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers talks with quarterback Philip Rivers #17 against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 28, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Norv Turner's seat couldn't be any hotter as his San Diego Chargers prepare for a Thursday night showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Three consecutive losses have fans and media alike buzzing about the status of Turner's job. However, according to a report from the Associated Press (via ESPN), Turner will still have a job this Thursday, and likely for the rest of this season. 

Coming off of a bye, the Chargers had plenty of time to recover from devastating losses to the New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos. A road game against the 1-6 Cleveland Browns was supposed to play out in San Diego's favor—a confidence builder, if you will—but that notion was quickly shut down as the Browns managed to pull off the upset with just a single TD in the game.

Looking back at that three-game skid, things couldn't have gone any worse for the Chargers. Philip Rivers has been a mess, coughing up turnovers left and right. Ryan Mathews has come nowhere near the player many experts claimed he would be in 2012. The defense has performed well at times, but it allowed Drew Brees and Peyton Manning to fulfill game-winning comebacks. And, on top of it all, keeping receivers healthy has been a pain—literally.

A lot of things have gone wrong in San Diego, and while Turner isn't responsible for every problem the Chargers have endured, his team's win-loss record is his responsibility.

Ideally, San Diego should be 6-1 at midseason. The Chargers had victories over the Saints and Broncos all locked up, but second-half meltdowns did them in. You could argue that weather played a factor into last week's loss against Cleveland, but there were a number of times that the Chargers had opportunities to put more points on the board. Robert Meachem's dropped TD pass comes to mind.

Personally, I don't see the Spanos family giving Turner the boot after Thursday's game. Every Chargers fan will tell you that firing Norv is the answer, but who would then take over? I have nothing against offensive coordinator Hal Hunter and defensive coordinator John Pagano—they're both amazing at what they do—but do either of them have what it takes to lead this team to the playoffs? Probably not.

Turner is, by far, the most experienced coach on San Diego's staff and letting him go at midseason wouldn't spark a dramatic turnaround that would allow the Chargers to make the postseason. I do, however, believe that Turner's job is not safe after this year. A loss to Kansas City on Thursday would only draw more heat on Turner, prompting the Spanos family to give fans what they want at season's end.